NBA: DARRYL DAWKINS, THE KING OF THE DUNKS, DIED AT AGE 58 Known also as ''The Chocolate Thunder'', a nickname he was given by Stevie Wonder

  • Italiano

The former basket player Darryl Dawkins, NBA professional, the American league and in the Italian championship, died. Dawkins, known as ‘Chocolate Thunder’ for his awesome smashes died after being transferred to hospital, as confirmed by the American website Tmz. The autopsy is expected today to confirm the death’s causes. A giant of 211 centimeters for 120 kg, Dawkins, born in Orlando, Florida, became the first player in the history to directly pass from the High School circuit to the Nba, in 1975. He played most part of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets, playing also with the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons. In 1989 come to Italy where he played in the Ipifim of Turin conquering the promotion from A2 to A1. In 1991, instead, passed to the Olimpia Milano to passing to A2 in the Libertas Forlì

Dawkins reached the Nba after jumping from Hight School without going to college, being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers. Since then a Nba career until 1989 (he also played with New Jersey Nets), when he left the Usa to play in Italy, he had experience in the Auxilium Torino, with a promotion in A1 and then Olimpia Milano. We remember his power under the basket which led him to destroy the backboard and forced the Nba to review the basket structure in order to avoid similar accidents.

Stevie Wonder called him “Chocolate Thunder”. He conquered it with his powerful “dunk” and his “monster” smashed. In his golden age few people could beat his “dunk”, athletic gesture which made him famous. In 1979 two backboards were destroyed in two different games because of his powerful smashes. After retiring from his agonistic career Dawkins became a coach. Shaquille O’Neal, a great Nba champion, was one of the first to comment his death: “I have met him only five or six times. It’s always nice when a great man congratulate you for how you play”.

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